Did you know that the fastest and easiest way to add new features to your blog is by adding widgets into the sidebar? Widgets are also a great way to personalize your blog and help it stand out from all of the others.
Here is a list of the 42 most popular and most useful widgets used on class blogs, student blogs and personal educator blogs.
Scroll down to the bottom of this post for more instructions on how to add widgets to your blog. Don’t forget, most of these widgets can also be embedded using Insert Embed Code in any page or post as well!
Author widgets are a handy way of displaying information about yourself or providing a link to posts by different authors on a shared blog or individual student blogs.
- About.me – Pulls your About.me profile information, and a small screenshot of it, into your sidebar.
- Author widget – Provides a handy link to authors’ posts on a group blog. Reader just need to click on the authors name to view their posts. See it in action listed as Student Authors on Mrs Harris’s Reader’s Response.
- Class blog widget – Displays a link to all student blogs attached to your class blog via My Class. See it in action under Class blogs on Huzzah’s class blog.
Clocks and Calendars
Clocks are great for displaying the time in your location which helps when you are trying to develop connections with classes in other countries. They also help younger students learn about time and time zones
- Clock Link – 100’s of different and unique clocks of all types.
- Human Calendar – Adds a cute calendar composed of photos of people.
- My Calendar – Used to display a monthly calendar.
- Google Calendar – Embed a list of upcoming events or a monthly view of a public Google calendar.
- Countdown clocks – Displays a countdown clock for an event e.g. time until Christmas.
Helpful for Readers
- Blogroll – Display a list of the blogs you like to read or share links to resources.
- Email Subscription – Adds email subscription to your sidebar so readers can subscribe to email notifications of new posts.
- Google Maps – Embed a Google map – complete with directions, street views, and more.
- Dogo Content Widget – Display engaging content from one or more DOGO websites.
- Feed Wind – Display the latest posts from another blog anywhere on the web.
- Wonderopolis – Adds a wonder of the day. Very popular on primary class blogs.
- Virtual Pet – Add your own virtual pet to your blog sidebar. Younger students love choosing, customizing and naming virtual pets.
- Wolfram Alpha – Wolfram Alpha contains hundreds of customizable widgets from a wide range of subject areas, including unit converters, weather tools, graphing calculators, problem solvers, and much more. This might be the only resource math and science students and teachers need for their blogs!
Images and videos are great ways of sharing visually what is happening in your classroom and class. They are also a good way of delivering content and engaging visual learners
- Image Widget – Easy add an image with text to your sidebar.
- Instagram – displays your latest instagrams on your blog.
- Flickr Badges – Add a link to your Flickr account
- Flickr – Display your latest Flickr photos on your blog.
- Gallery Widget – Display a photo gallery or slideshow in your blog’s sidebar.
- YouTube – Grab the embed code from any YouTube video or playlist and add it to a text widget in your sidebar. Tip – change the custom size to 200 pixels before grabbing the embed code so it fits your sidebar.
- RadioTuna – Pick a genre and play music for your visitors.
Bookshelf widgets are a good way to share your favorite books or provide recommended reading lists.
The two commonly used widgets for sharing books are:
Talking avatars fulfill a range of purposes including grammar and fluency reading practices, delivering content and engaging auditory learners.
- Voki – Add a speaking and highly customizable avatar to your blog. Record you voice, create a character, and much more!
- Read The Words – Human avatars that will read text or recorded audio right in your blog.
- Site Pal – A paid widget that can make scarily realistic avatars using uploaded photos of you or students.
Visitor tracking widgets display the visitors to a blog. Not all blog visitors leave comments. Visitor tracking widgets are an important for making students aware that they are interacting as part of a global community. This is incredibly motivating for students and provides built in opportunities for geography and maths lessons.
It’s common to see a range of visitor tracking widgets used on class and student blogs.
- ClustrMaps – One of the most popular widget on Edublogs. Displays a small map with “dots” for each of your visitors.
- Who’s Among Us – With an account, includes some nice stat collection tools.
Weather widgets help classes from other countries learn about weather and seasons in your area while helping teach younger students more about weather and how temperature is measured in different locations.
- AccuWeather – The most complete collection of weather widgets to show current conditions and forecasts.
- WeatherBug – Displays live, local weather conditions and forecasts.
How To Add Widgets
There are 100’s of different widgets that you can add to your blog sidebar and many of them are added using embed code in a text widget.
Adding these widget is as simple as follows:
1. Grab the embed code for the widget you want to add.
2. Go to Appearance > Widget.
3. Drag a text widget into your sidebar.
4. Paste the embed code into the text widget.
5. Click Save and Close.
6. You should now see the widget in your sidebar.
Share your favorite widgets
With so many widgets that you can to use, we are certain to have overlooked a few of your favorites.
Leave a comment below with any that we missed so that we can add to the list!